TEMPLE (December 11, 2012)—Temple veterinarian Terri Boedeker and her rescued Australian Shepherd Scarlett leave this week for Florida for the American Kennel Club Invitationals, a competition for the top five dogs of qualified breeds in the world.
Scarlett was ranked number six, but luckily for her, the owner of one of the top five Australian Shepherd dogs declined, and Scarlett and Boedeker jumped at the opportunity.
"It's an honor, and I feel honored by the dog," Boedeker said.
"We are a team, but she's a special little girl, and I'm very proud of her."
Boedeker rescued Scarlett six years ago, but had no intentions of keeping her.
"The person who had her didn't want to treat for parvo and didn't want to take her home, which really isn't advisable when they're sick any way, so he signed his rights over to me," Boedeker said.
"I planned to put her in rescue."
But between treating Scarlett for parvo, a dog disease with a high death rate, and seeing Scarlett with her other dogs, Boedeker said she couldn't let go.
"I came home one night and my husband had given her a nickname, and she actually came with the name Scarlett, and he was calling her sissy because she was going to be all the other dog's sister," Boedeker said.
"So when you give them a nickname, they're yours."
Boedeker said Scarlett has come a long way.
"When I first got her, she didn't want to play with anything, she had separation anxiety, and actually she still has a degree of separation anxiety," Boedeker said.
The once underdog is now vying for the title of top dog.